Minnesota Fishing Startup Lands $2.1M Investment
Omnia Fishing, a Golden Valley-based e-commerce startup selling fishing equipment, this week landed a $2.1 million raise.
Omaha-based Dundee Venture Capital and Cambridge, Mass.-based Founder Collective co-led the raise. Founder Collective is probably best known for providing early funding for digital media company BuzzFeed and ride-sharing company Uber.
Local venture capital firms Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund and Bread & Butter Ventures also provided some money. Local “angel” investor Daren Cotter participated in the round, too.
Matt Johnson, Omnia Fishing’s CEO, said the company will use the funds to build out its inventory of fishing equipment. Today, the company has about 9,000 unique products on its site; with the raise, Johnson plans to bring that number to 25,000. Johnson said he also aims to add more employees to Omnia Fishing’s buying and merchandising teams, and round out the company’s user design and marketing teams.
“It’s really about acceleration at this point,” he said, noting that the latest investment was unsolicited. “We’ve seen really incredible tailwinds from Covid.”
Since the company was founded in 2018, Omnia Fishing has raised a total of $4.6 million. Most recently, the company landed a $1.5 million raise in 2020. That followed a $1 million raise in 2018.
The company, which ships fishing gear to all 50 states from its Golden Valley warehouse, has already been rapidly growing its inventory over the last few years. Johnson noted that the company’s inventory doubled in 2020. “Now, we’re going to be almost tripling,” he added.
Omnia Fishing does operate a brick-and-mortar store, though the vast majority of its sales occur online. Johnson noted that just about five percent of the company’s revenue comes from in-person visits. When customers arrive at the store, they’ll need to shop on a computer anyway. Then, a staffer grabs products from the warehouse.
The company employs nine people today, and that includes “a couple hires within the last two weeks,” Johnson noted.
Omnia Fishing has benefitted from the pandemic-induced shift to e-commerce, along with the holiday rush.
“We’ve been all hands on deck, especially as we moved through Christmas,” Johnson said. “We were all in the warehouse, picking, packing and shipping. We knew that wasn’t very scalable, so that’s why we’re increasing the team size.”